The brain is a complex and vital organ that shapes who we are. It allows us to understand questions and solve intricate problems, it produces our emotions while crafting our personality, and it helps us to live on both a biological and spiritual level. If it should experience damage than the essence of who we are could be lost forever. This is why traumatic brain injuries can cause grave damage to the life of its victim.

According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a traumatic brain injury (also known as TBI) is an affliction that 1.4 million Americans sustain each year, 50,000 of which don’t survive. While TBI’s have differing levels of severity (ranging from mild to severe), they are usually acquired from a simple injury to the head and/or neck. Falls are the leading cause accounting for 28% of TBI’s, while motor vehicle accidents account for 20%. However, motor vehicle accidents have a higher frequency when it comes to TBI hospitalizations, which studies have shown effect over 280,000 people each year. The causes of the injury are wide in variety and can occur from open or closed head injuries to deceleration injuries (also known as a diffuse axonal injuries), but its complexities delve much deeper.

A traumatic brain injury can have life-altering effects on a victim’s emotional and physical well-being, but can also do severe damage to the physical nature of the brain. The injury may require years, if not decades, of special care and rehabilitation from care facilities like CareMeridian. The impairments from a brain injury can affect speech, vision, coordination, the short term and long term memory, and may even result in mood swings and behavioral changes in personality. Considering that every brain injury is different, rehabilitation depends on the individual case and injury; yet, prevention is possible.

For an injury as debilitating as TBI, prevention is essential. Luckily, prevention is not difficult. When driving, the best way to avert a TBI is by wearing a seatbelt and not being under the influence of alcohol. In fact, according to the Brain Injury Association of America more than 50% of people with a brain injury were intoxicated at the time of their injury. It’s also smart to always wear a helmet when riding a bike, thus reducing the risk of a head injury by almost 90%. If the right precautions are taken, the severity of TBI’s can be reduced if not prevented.

There is a lot that is still unknown about the inner workings of the human brain. However, one thing known for certain is the life changing affects that a TBI can have on its victims as a result of irreversible damage to its function.